Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Skip to content

Going above and beyond: Mapping the provision and impact of Victim Advocacy in the Criminal Justice System


For many victims, the journey to justice will be the first time they have interacted with the criminal justice system, and they will need support and advice to navigate it. Victim advocates are dedicated professionals who provide support, assistance, and advocacy to a wide range of victims. This is to ensure that victims’ rights and needs are met, and that they receive appropriate support and resources. Advocates play an important role in empowering victims to navigate complex statutory procedures within the criminal justice system.

This report aims to:

  • Map the current provision of victim advocates in England and Wales;
  • Identify examples of where victim advocacy is working well and the benefits it provides to victims; and
  • Identify gaps in victim advocacy provision and steps that can be taken to improve standards and consistency.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Newlove, said:

“One of the key findings of this research is that advocates can keep victims engaged with the criminal justice process. This is so important at a time when rates of victim withdrawal are at a near all-time high and there are high numbers of cases waiting to get to court. Long waiting times, poor communication, and a lack of support often result in victims not wanting to proceed with their case. Advocates can support victim engagement by providing them with essential practical advice and emotional support at a time where they are attempting to negotiate the justice system and recover from a traumatic experience.”